Where We Be
Tiradentes is much smaller than its colonial neighbor Ouro Preto,
and much less steep, so it's a great place to genuinely relax
Tiradentes, Brazil
The charming colonial town of Tiradentes is a
popular destination for Brazilians but remains
mostly undiscovered by foreigners. That's a pity
because this is a picture-perfect little village.
Every colorful shutter, every freshly painted
building calls out for a photo. Every turn brings
you to another ridiculously photogenic view of
cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, and
vibrant flowers against a blue mountain back-
drop. Add to that a variety of fine restaurants,
art galleries, handicraft shops, and walking
paths and you have yourself an irresistible

We saw most of Tiradentes in one walk. You
could stroll the town's main streets in a day and
move on, but that would be a shame. This is a
place to linger. Wandering around at different
times of day is a pleasure, and you can widen
your circle to areas beyond the village center
to explore off the beaten path.  
Even the three-hour drive to get to Tiradentes from Ouro Preto was
beautiful. The state of Minas Gerais has some lovely mountain scenery.
We slept in a comfortable bed each night at Pousada do O
Tiradentes reminds us of Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay in that
it’s almost impossibly quaint and hard to put your camera down
The main church in town is Igreja Matriz de Santo Antonio with its nearly
all gold interior. It was one of the last churches designed by Aleijadinho.
This is the delightful view from the church. The building just
beyond the walker is Pousada Do O, our lodgings for three nights.
From the church you also get a good
view of the town's natural surroundings
Just around the bend is Rua Direita, one of the main streets in town.
Our favorite Italian restaurant, Gourmeco, is right on the corner.
The buildings are colorful and well maintained, and in the old section
of town cars are virtually forbidden, so you can hear the birds singing
Wandering at random is a pleasure
Horse-drawn carriage rides add yet
another romantic element to the town
They say Tiradentes can get busy with the weekend crowd from Rio,
but not during our visit -- perhaps because of the upcoming holidays
We didn't mind having the place mostly to ourselves
We wandered past small churches with leafy courtyards
And empty streets that looked like movie sets
And we ate very, very well. At Uaithai Bistro the filet mignon stir fry (“mangethai”) was out of this world.
The herb crusted pork tenderloin served with a puree of banana, curry, and coconut milk was also great.
And took strolls in the evening when the lighting was at its softest
We explored off the beaten path away from the center of town
And remembered what a pleasure it can be to
shop for handicrafts in a place as low-key as this
We popped into shops selling handicrafts and gourmet treats
Gourmeco is a little gem of a restaurant. I had the risotto with smoked
salmon and mandarin oranges, and Robin the spaghetti carbonara.
If you visit only one museum in Tiradentes, make it the Museu Sant’Ana,
curated by the same collector who put together the Oratory Museum
in Ouro Preto. Her collections are extremely focused but fascinating.
This museum concentrates solely on Brazilian statues of Saint Ann, the
mother of Mary. The statues represent some of the best folk art in Brazil.
Some of the paving stones are surprisingly beautiful